Doctors have indicated that the list of screening tools for the COVID-19 coronavirus could be expanded to include the loss of sense of smell and taste. CNN reports that symptoms of anosmia, which is a lack of sense of smell, and dysgeusia, a lack of taste, could very well be symptoms of the virus. As a result, U.S. doctors have said this should be used to identify possible infections, especially as people can carry COVID-19 without displaying any other symptoms.
"Anosmia, in particular, has been seen in patients ultimately testing positive for the coronavirus with no other symptoms," said the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in a statement. The academy warned that these symptoms "warrant serious consideration for self-isolation and testing of these idividuals." This comes shortly after a separate organization in the U.K. made a similiar statement that anosmia could be a symptom.
"Previously described coronaviruses are thought to account for 10-15 percent cases. It is therefore perhaps no surprise that the novel COVID-19 virus would also cause anosmia in infected patients," said ENT UK, a organization that represents ear, nose, and throat surgeons. "There is already good evidence from South Korea, China and Italy that significant numbers of patients with proven COVID-19 infection have developed anosmia."
Two in three cases in Germany reportedly have anosima, while 30 percent of patients tested positive in South Korea claimed to experience such symptoms.